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Crowley buys Aker Philly Jones Act tanker newbuild pair

Written by Nick Blenkey

pennsylvania largeAUGUST 20, 2012 — Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (Oslo: AKPS) has found a buyer for the two Jones Act product tankers that it has been building for its own account since last year. It has reached a covering the sale of the pair to Crowley Maritime’s Crowley Petroleum Services, Inc.

Aker Philadelphia says it will “receive compensation for each vessel in the form of a fixed purchase price of $90 million at delivery and a variable component based on the vessel’s actual performance in the market. Based on current market conditions, AKPS anticipates receiving a nominal amount in excess of $35 million per vessel through the variable component. This amount has the potential to be significantly higher if market conditions continue to improve. The variable component is payable on an annual basis over the life of the vessel and will adjust upwards or downwards based on actual charter rates and other factors. There is no cap on the amount of the annual payment.”

The shipbuilder anticipates that the transaction will result in cumulative gains in excess of $25 million, recognized as each vessel is delivered, with the potential for future additional income based on the variable component.

“We are pleased to partner with a first-class owner and operator like Crowley. Both APSI and Crowley share deep commitments to run safe and efficient operations, and I am confident that this transaction will bring significant value to both parties for years to come,” said Kristian Rokke, AKPS President and CEO. “This is a major milestone for the shipyard and we are greatly appreciative of the support we have received from many, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, City of Philadelphia, and Aker ASA.”

Crowley Maritime says that the purchases of the tankers, the Pennsylvania and the Florida, mark its re-entry into the Jones Act tanker market since its last tanker was retired in 2011.

The tankers are scheduled for delivery in September 2012 and March 2013.

Crowley says the addition of these new tankers also positions Crowley to now offer an even more diverse fleet of petroleum and chemical transportation vessels to its customers. The tankers will be capable of carrying nearly 330,000 barrels of a wide variety of petroleum products and chemicals. Once delivered, the vessels will operate in the U.S. coastwise trade.

“Crowley is thrilled to partner with Aker Philadelphia Shipyard and to take delivery of these new Jones Act tankers,” said Crowley’s Chairman, President and CEO Tom Crowley. “We are bringing the best available technology to our customers, who understand and appreciate safety and operational excellence. This is yet another example of our on-going investments in new equipment and technology to meet the current and future needs of our customers.”

“Putting these vessels into service continues our commitment to offering a wide variety of solutions for the safe and reliable transportation of petroleum products and chemicals for our customers,” said Crowley’s Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum services. “As one of the largest independent operators in the U.S., we have a proven reputation for providing economical, reliable service while adhering to the most stringent safety and environmental protection standards. This tradition is certain to continue with the delivery of these two new tankers.”

The U.S.-flagged vessels are the 13th and 14th in the Veteran Class built at Aker.

With a length of 183.2 m, a breadth of 32.2 m, and a depth of 18.8 m, the tankers come in at 45,800 deadweight tons with a draft of 12.2 m.

Each powered by the first Tier II large-bore engines, MAN-B&W 6S50MCs, the Pennsylvania and the Florida are expected to achieve an average speed of 14.5+ knots. In addition to being double hulled with segregated ballast systems, the tankers have water and CO2 firefighting systems, as well as a foam water spray system.

DNB Markets, Inc. acted as exclusive financial advisor to Crowley.

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